BILLINGS - Many people are used to getting their packages delivered straight to their door. Though, the Billings Police Department says thieves know people are shopping online and they’re getting bold by stealing your holiday cheer within seconds of it being delivered to your home.

For the first time, the Billings Crime Prevention Center is encouraging people to have their packages delivered to the center instead.

“That way we can keep track of them and you can come pick them up before or after work, and they’re at a secure location so they don’t get stolen," Kallie Parsons, volunteer coordinator at the Billings Crime Prevention Center, said.

Lurking in the dead of night or in broad daylight, the Grinch is stealing your gifts. Parsons said they’ve already received calls about packages stolen from Billings residents.

“Every year around the holiday season for Christmas, or the season for the sales, we see an increase of packages being stolen off of porches from people while they’re at work, or we see cars following UPS trucks, FedEx, things like that,” she said.

Parsons said people can send their packages to the center on 3rd Avenue North starting Monday, Dec. 6. The center will be open for you to pick up your packages Monday through Sunday.

"It will all be staffed by volunteers; They’ve all gone through a background check," Parsons said.

If you do choose to have your packages dropped off at your house, Parsons said you can keep your gifts protected by having neighbors keep an eye out or by coordinating a secure place to have your packages delivered.

If you are unfortunate enough to become a victim of package thieves, doorbell cameras could be key in catching the criminals.

“When we ask for information from people, we always like any video we can get of the incident. If you have a Ring camera or a neighbor saw something, that's the kind of information we’re looking for to hopefully track these people,” Parsons said.

If you choose to have your packages delivered to the Crime Prevention Center, you’ll need your I.D. or tracking receipt to pick them up.

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